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Photon statistics and signal to noise ratio for incoherent diffraction imaging

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posted on 2023-11-30, 19:46 authored by Fabian Trost, Kartik Ayyer, Henry Chapman
Intensity interferometry is a well known method in astronomy. Recently, a related method called incoherent diffractive imaging (IDI) was proposed to apply intensity correlations of x-ray fluorescence radiation to determine the 3D arrangement of the emitting atoms in a sample. Here we discuss inherent sources of noise affecting IDI and derive a model to estimate the dependence of the signal to noise ratio (SNR) on the photon counts per pixel, the temporal coherence (or number of modes), and the shape of the imaged object. Simulations in two- and three-dimensions have been performed to validate the predictions of the model. We find that contrary to coherent imaging methods, higher intensities and higher detected counts do not always correspond to a larger SNR. Also, larger and more complex objects generally yield a poorer SNR despite the higher measured counts. The framework developed here should be a valuable guide to future experimental design.

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